Women's chat show for beginner cyclists

Cycling UK continues to support the UK to cycle
This remains true during this difficult period with the ongoing threat of coronavirus Covid-19
Our panel includes Charline Jones, Delaney Watkins and Caz Nicklin.
Anna Glowinski's picture

Women's chat show for beginner cyclists

Cycling UK's Anna Glowinski explains more about the social media event that promises 'Bants, bicycles and bing female', as our panel of cycling guests help those who are re-discovering cycling.

Women make up 50% of the population and yet cycle a quarter of the miles of men. As part of our commitment over many years to bridge the gender gap in the cycling population, Cycling UK is bringing together a panel of expert female cyclists to talk you through the basics of kit, fitness, mechanics, and road safety - as well as advice for cycling through lockdown.

This is a place where you can find out all the information you need to help you start cycling, and ask all those questions you weren't sure who to ask. 

So, what can you expect? Tune in to our Facebook live sessions to enjoy a lively chat with women who will be sharing their experiences, stories and tips. These sessions are aimed at beginner cyclists who want to pick up enough information that they can get on a bike - we'll take you out the door and back again safely, easily and enjoyably.

Each week the series will delve deeper into more specific topics and we'll be taking questions from you, the audience. The great news is that as well as live streaming on our public Facebook page, it will also be available in a safe space in our Women in Cycling private group so you are free to ask any of those silly questions you weren't sure you could ask! 

Join us on Facebook 

Friday 29 May - Starting cycling

This first session focused on starting out.

What was your first bike (what did you look for?), what kit mistakes do you need to avoid? How do you avoid achey legs and sore bums?

Our experts advised on what sort of bike you might use to get started, what clothing to wear, and why starting cycling in lockdown could be the best time to do it for your mind and your body. 

Experts: Fran Whyte, Caz Niklin, Delaney Assos, Jenny Box, Charline Jones

Watch it again on the Cycling UK Facebook page.

Friday 05 June - Cycle commuting for beginners 

Find out all you need to know about cycling to work.

Our experts discussed their personal experiences of cycling to work, so if you are getting on a bike for the first time or considering switching up your commute, you'll have all the information you need to get to work on time and ready to start the day right.

We brought you tips on what to pack, what to wear, checking your bike is commute-ready and what to do if you get a puncture on the way to work. 

Experts: Fran Whyte, Charline Jones, Kristi Grayson.

Watch it again on the Cycling UK Facebook page.

Friday 12 June - Periods, training, and bib shorts

We know cycling is a male-dominated environment, and while many tips are for all beginners, some issues related to female health are just that - female only. It means finding the right advice isn't always easy, until now. 

Our experts gave advice on training, bib shorts, and cycling during your period.

The down-to-earth chat featured embarrassing moments, overcoming painful issues, and addressing fears, aiming to give you the confidence to cycle anywhere, anytime. 

Experts: Fran Whyte, Adel Tyson, Charline Jones.

Watch it again on the Cycling UK Facebook page.

Friday 19 June - Maintaining cycling as part of your lifestyle

In this session, we found out how cycling can easily be a part of your lifestyle, and how to develop positive habits. What defines a 'cyclist'? What steps do I take next, and what kit should I hanker after to take things to the next level?

If you're not sure about how to keep your bike in good order, or how to find like-minded people near you then catch up via the link below and watch as we discussed how to join a cycling club near you, or to to find the right community on social media. And we talked about how you can reach out to others to inspire them too. 

Experts: Fran Whyte​, Jenny Box, Charline Jones, Kirsti Grayson, and Elle Linton.

Watch it again on the Cycling UK Facebook page.

Friday 26 June, 13:00 - Pregnancy, cycling and kids

How does cycling feel when you're pregnant? 

Our experts discussed if cycling whilst pregnant is dangerous, how much cycling you should do when you're pregnant, and answer the question 'how soon after giving birth can you get back in the saddle?'

They also discussed how their cycling has adapted to include their children, and how they cycle with, or without them. 

Experts: Caz Nicklin, Lucy Follett, Lizzie Deignan, Charlie Stone.

Watch it again on the Cycling UK Facebook page.

Friday 3 July, 13:00 - Menopause, cycling and community.

We discussed those hot flushes, and talked about the menopause from experience, including cycling through this part of life.

We advised who you can speak to about menopause and how it affects your cycling, how to manage symptoms, and what you can expect from your GP.

Expert: Lesley Wilkinson, Melanie Berry, Jesse Lambert-Harden, Emily Barclay, and Dr Susanna Unsworth

Watch it again on the Cycling UK Facebook page.

Friday 10 July, 13:00 - Cycling and mental health

Our experts will recount their experiences of mental health, and how cycling can improve symptoms.

We'll discuss how to reduce depression & anxiety through cycling - preparation, expectations, and recognising your feelings.

Experts: Sarah Strong, Crystal Nunn, Keri Bramford, Jenny Box, Rebecca Charlton, Dr Josie Perry.

Watch it live on the Cycling UK Facebook page.

Friday 17 July, 13:00 - Cycling with the family

What have your experiences been of riding with your children?

As part of the Women's Festival of Cycling, we'll be chatting to our experts about cycling with your family.

We're talking logistics, motivating your kids, the right bikes and bike seats for your children (and the right budget), and kids clubs.

Experts: Diane Farrell, Laura Tovey, Zoe Banks Gross, Caz Nicklin, Gaby Thompson

Friday 24 July, 13:00 - Cycling and Cancer

The big C. 

We chat to our guests, Dianne - a breast cancer survivor, and Geraldine - who is currently fighting breast cancer, about their experience of the disease, and what role cycling has played in their journeys.

We'll ask them how they follow medical advice, how people respond differently to different drugs, and knowing other people out there have cycled during cancer.

Guests: Dianne Jeggo, Geraldine Glowinski, Gemma Hillier, Lucy Gossage.

Find out more about our experts and guests

Our experts are some of the most well-informed, fantastic personalities and in the world of cycling. You are invited to join them as they get deep and personal.

Adel Tyson-Bloor

Adel is a fitness expert with over 10 years of experience in personal coaching and high performance. She is a former athlete with national and world titles, she has competed and succeeded in Ironman and short course triathlon, endurance events such as 24-hour races and has excelled in many sporting professions. Find out more on TwitterInstagram and her website

Caz Nicklin

Award winning brand Cycle Chic was started by Caz Nicklin in 2008. Caz uses her bike to commute about town and take her daughter to nursery. She knows exactly what is needed for cyclists starting out who want to know what is necessary to wear for cycling comfort, but still want to stay stylish...or should we say chic? Caz is also the author of of The Girls' Bicycle Handbook. Find out more on Twitter and Instagram.

Charlie Stone Bsc (Hons) MCSP HPC

Charlie is a physiotherapist from Sheffield. She is one half of Fit4-Physio, a sports injury clinic run by runners and cyclists for runners and cyclists. She has been a physio for 17 years, including 8 years serving in the British Army. Charlie retired from the Army in 2014, after her last posting at the Defence Medical Rehab Centre, managing the team for lower limb rehabilitation. Also a qualified yoga and pilates instructor, she's passionate about helping people to achieve their goals - in particular women. With a can do attitude, she takes a holistic approach to injury from assessment to treatment, rehabilitation and beyond. Bridging a gap between a women’s health physio and musculoskeletal physio, she works with women on their pre and post natal journey empowering women to exercise safely and confidently when planning a family. If she's not at the clinic, she can be found running after her two small boys and a dog. A runner-turned-cyclist, she’s also never far from her two wheels or trainers. Last year, she completed the Ride London and UCI World Champs Sportives. She has developed a liking for Alpine Cols and daydreams of one day completing the Haute Route.

Charline Jones

Charline has over 10 years experience training as a professional cyclist and has been a coach in sport for 17 years. With a Commonwealth Silver medal under her belt, a Sports and Exercise Science degree, yoga teacher training and functional range conditioning qualifications as part of her knowledge. If there’s one thing Charline knows how to do, that’s get results and the easiest way to do this is to surround yourself with people who support you in your fitness journey. Her training sessions include exercises that promote strength, fat loss, stamina and mobility and she joins us as one of our fitness experts. Find out more on ​TwitterInstagram and her website.

Crystal Nunn

Crystal is a designer living and working in London. She has been riding bikes since she was a child, but since 2017, riding has become a passion. She spends her time in the saddle chasing adventure and escaping the humdrum of daily life. Crystal, who started commuting by bike in 2011 when she bought a road bike, prefers the quiet and alternative roads, the serenity and nature and meditation of spinning the cranks. A few incidents have left her with cycling anxiety, but Crystal hasn't let that beat her. Instead, she uses her anxiety to fuel herself, seeking adventure through travel. She plans to explore the wonders of bikepacking in the UK and abroad once the coronavirus pandemic is over. Her fascination with cycling led her to learn everything there is about bikes. Now she builds them as a hobby, and takes online cycling maintenance webinars almost every week. Crystal's mantra is 'never stop learning', which always opens up more opportunities. whether that's learning about bikes, routes, technique, or community. Crystal wants to get more involved in helping people on their bikes to overcome some of the worries cycling brings and believes that solidarity through shared experiences can be a powerful tool.

Dalany Watkins

Delany got into cycling whilst living in London as a great way to save money, keep fit and socialise. In June 2015 she then started working for one of the leading professional cycling kit brands in the world, ASSOS and got involved with some racing on the track, through triathlon and also a couple of longer multi day events. In 2017 Delaney packed her bags and bikes, relocated to Italy and now works just across the border at their headquarters in southern Switzerland. Outside of work you’ll find her adventures out on the bike exploring the iconic mountain passes of Switzerland, the gravel roads of Tuscany and everything in between documented on her Instagram account. Find out more on the ASSOS website.

Diana Farrell

Diana has ridden bikes for as long as she can remember - her main love now being road cycling – over the years, she’s taken part in sportives, cycled in the Alps, and raced time trials, criteriums and the odd road race. She also cycles for transport day to day, either alone or with her children. She discovered cargo bikes when her children were three years and eighteen months and it’s been their main means of family transport for the past five years. At eight and six years now, Diana is moving them to a tandem for the little one and independent cycling for the older one...but she still loves her cargo bike.
She’s passionate about supporting more people to cycle, whether that be riding to the shops or competing in races. She leads free rides for women in her local area (Edinburgh) as a Breeze Champion and also supports other Breeze Champions as Area Coordinator for East and Central Scotland. She is a British Cycling tutor, delivering Ride Leader Award courses throughout Scotland, and is a Level 2 Road coach and runs her own business, Active Cycle Coaching. When she’s not on a bike, she loves to write, especially about bikes!

Elle Linton

Ellie, of Keep is SimpElle, is a30-something fitness professional and blogger based in Essex, cycling was Ellie's freedom as a child. She rediscovered cycling as an adult thanks to a friend and colleague and now loves exploring everything that cycling has to offer, having tried her hand at track, road, and bmx cycling, not to mention bikepacking, cyclocross and MTB. She says the fun of blogging and sharing her own adventures is leading others to discover their own passion for cycling, too. She's also a Breeze Champion, Liv Cycling UK Ambassador, and a Trainee Cyclocross Commissaire. My goal in all of these roles, is to encourage and inspire others to get on two wheels - especially women - and more specifically BAME women. You can keep up with her adventures on Instagram and Twitter.

Emily Barclay

Emily is a triathlete who had to pare back her training when perimenopause hit. She has subsequently set up the Perimenopause Hub, bringing together experts in the field so no woman need feel as lost as she did. Having been a skier all her life, Emily only really took up cycling (and triathlon) in her 30s so she is very aware of the hurdles beginners might face. She lives in Norfolk with her partner and 6 dogs.

Fran Whyte

VeloVixen are one of the biggest names in women's cycling, Fran Whyte works for the company and is a cyclist through and through. Having raced for many years, she also moderates the VeloVixen Women's Cycling Chat page and tests kit purchases for the VeloVixen store. VeloVixen have been hand-picking the best cycling kit for women to sell through their online store for 8 years. From massive market dominators to small, one-man bands. They have even recently started creating their own kit, because it seemed a shame not to put into practice all that experience of what women really want and need for every type of bike ride. Find out more on TwitterInstagram and the VeloVixen website.

Gemma Hillier

Gemma is the founder of MOVE charity and the co-founder of the 5K Your Way, Move Against Cancer initiative. She was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 24 and went on to become an international distance runner after her diagnosis. She brings a different outlook to the panel both from a professional and personal perspective.

Jenny Box

Jenny is Head of Behaviour Change and Development for Cycling UK in England. She is also a leisure cyclist with a particular enthusiasm for cycling on holiday to explore new areas on two wheels. Closer to home, Jenny cycles to work and around London with friends. Jenny joined Cycling UK nearly two years ago after many years’ experience in roles focusing on increasing sports participation and engagement with volunteers. 
Jenny now leads a team of Cycling Development Officers working to help achieve Cycling UK’s mission of enabling a million more people to cycle through community programmes. With lots of debate online and in real life surrounding social distancing measures and what this means for cycling, Jenny is here to help answer the questions and provide advice on how cycling can keep going in 2020. Find out more on Twitter and Instagram.

Jesse Lambert-Harden

Jesse is a female nutrition & lifestyle coach, and personal trainer based in Brighton. With 10 years experience coaching women. By understanding the barriers that women face - both as a mother, physiologically and psychologically - she keeps her approach very realistic, sustainable and enjoyable. By keeping things realistic and enjoyable, women learn how to thrive rather than burn out. Her core principles lie in behaviour change and empowering women to make positive changes to their nutrition and lifestyle whatever stage they are at in their lives. She believes passionately that with the correct education, practical tools and by adopting the right mindset, women can become confident that they will never have to google a diet or exercise fad again. No foods are off limits, and Jesse coaches her clients to be inclusive not restrictive and importantly feel confident in their choices and actions. Having been a runner and suffering from amenorrhoea (loss of menstruation) due to RED-S (relative energy deficiency in sports), she also recognises the importance of fuelling correctly to maintain good health, performance and prevent injury via the use of correct sports nutrition and recovery strategies. She is the head fuel coach for Her Spirit, providing her with the opportunity to fulfil her passion in helping all women to gain access to the tools to help them become healthy and happy individuals.  

Dr Josie Perry

Josie is a chartered sport psychologist working with high performers in sport & on the stage. Author of Performing under Pressure & The Psychology of Exercise.

Keri Bramford

Keri is a scientist, and mum of three. Cycling, for her, started as a solution to repeated running injuries, and coincided with her husband's love of the pastime. He surprised her with the gift of a second-hand road bike, but being initially annoyed at being pushed into ‘his’ sport, the bike was left in the shed. However, missing her regular runs caused her mental health to spiral, and in October 2016 she suffered a massive mental breakdown. She narrowly avoided being sectioned, and felt terrified. After spending a few months recovering at home whilst supported by her GP and family, eventually she dusted off the bike and joined a 10 mile British Cycling Beginners Breeze Ride. She’d never ridden a road bike or cycled as part of a group, but loved every minute of it. 10 months after that, she completed a 75 mile sportive and treated herself to a new bike. She covered miles whilst living with a damning voice in her head, telling her she was useless, fat, and slow, but she decided to challenge it. She's since ridden in time trial, at velodromes, MTB, commuted many miles, and cycled coast to coast. Keri joined us for the Cycling & Mental Health session.

Kirsti Grayson

Kirsti is the founder and Company Director of Go Velo Ltd.  Managing a team of cycle instructors, generating cycle training activity and provides bike maintenance sessions in the North West. Go Velo was runner up in the Bikeability awards 2019. Go Velo provides a fun, inclusive and progressive learning environment to riders, encouraging them to embrace their cycling journey. Single mum of two living in the Pennines, Kirsti enjoys mountain biking, wild camping and open water swimming. Find out more about Go Velo on Twitter and Facebook.

Lesley Wilkinson MCPH

Lesley initially trained as a nutritionist, and now practices homeopathy. She has a busy teaching clinic in Croydon, alongside a thriving homeopathic practice. She is a keen and regular cyclist, and has competed in various forms of cycling, including Trans Portugal, where she was the eldest of the 7 female entrants.

Lizzie Deignan

Lizzie is an English professional world champion track and road racing cyclist, who currently rides for UCI Women's WorldTeam Trek–Segafredo. She was the 2015 World road race champion, and the 2014 Commonwealth Games road race champion. Lizzie is also a twice winner of the season-long UCI Women's Road World Cup, winning the overall competition in 2014 and the final edition in 2015. At the 2012 Summer Olympics, Lizzie won the silver medal in the road race. She has won the British National Road Race Championships four times, in 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017. In 2018 Lizzie gave birth to her first child, Orla and proceeded to race in the Tour de Yorkshire a year later. The mum of one is looking towards a best result ever at the next Olympic games.

Lucy Follett BSc (Hons), MCSP HPC

Lucy has always enjoyed riding bikes - be it road riding or mountain biking. She's passionate about the  outdoors and loves to be in the mountains with friends - and now her son - riding mountain bikes. She had her son, Jasper, in May 2019. Professionally, She works in Olympic sport and has seen athletes come back within an Olympic cycle from having a baby to winning gold medals. Her return hasn't been quite so prolific, but she gets out as much as she can and still tries to challenge herself with the techy stuff! She's looking forward to sharing some of  experiences of riding through pregnancy.  

Lucy Gossage

Lucy is a cancer doctor and 13 x Ironman champion based in Cambridge, UK. Since completing her research PhD in March 2014 she has been training and racing as a full time triathlete.

Melanie Berry

Melanie is the Co-founder of Her Spirit along with Holly Woodford, which was set up in 2018 to improve every woman's health and well-being by reducing the rate of obesity, anxiety and increasing activity levels by women across the UK. Her Spirit offers personalised coaching for your Mind, Body and Fuel and enables women to get fitter, stronger and healthier from their living room.  Melanie is an experienced sport marketeer with over twenty years working in the sports & business industry in the UK and globally. She has worked with some of the biggest global brands such as Adidas, DFS, Speedo International & Boots through to numerous start ups, National Governing Bodies and major events. Supporting this work, Melanie is a mentor and lecturer at Nottingham Universities Business School, and The Ingenuity Lab, and was recognised as the mentor of the year (2017) for Nottingham Universities Ingenuity Lab. She's also a qualified triathlon coach and loves taking on new challenges such as marathons,, triathlons, and cycling events such as the L’Etape du Tour.

Rebecca Charlton

Rebecca is a TV presenter, journalist and author. She has written two books on cycling with Bloomsbury and presents and commentates on channels including Eurosport, ITV and the BBC. Having raced in several disciplines of competitive cycling from a young age, Rebecca brings a particular wealth of knowledge on the sport, from grassroots entry-level up to the pro ranks where she regularly interviews the stars of the sport. Rebecca is the lead presenter on ITV's coverage of the OVO Energy Women's Tour of Britain and is particularly passionate about seeing more women start riding. In addition, she can be found regularly hosting rounds of the HSBC UK National Road and women's series on Eurosport. Rebecca says: “There are no stupid questions when it comes to cycling, so ask away!” ​

Dr Susanna Unsworth MA (Cantab) MB BChir MRCGP DRCOG DFSRH PGDip Gynaecology

Susanna is a Menopause and Women’s Health Specialist who works as a Specialty Doctor in the Breast Clinic at Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge. She has diplomas from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (DRCOG) and the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (DFSRH), as well as a postgraduate diploma in Community Gynaecology from the University of Bradford and the Advanced Certificate in Menopause Care from the FSRH. She is registered on the British Menopause Society Register of Menopause Specialists in the UK. She started Cambridge Women’s Health Clinic to provide women with the time and attention they need to discuss their health concerns, offering support and experienced advice. Check out her women’s health blog FemaleGP where she builds a resource of easy-to-understand information on all areas of women’s health! You can also follow Susanna on Twitter and Instagram.

Zoe Banks Gross

Zoe worked as an environmental scientist for over 15 years across the US, Germany and the UK. She has been employed in the public sector, private sector, academia, and as a freelance consultant. In 2014, Zoe started working at a hyper-local, community level, founding a family cycling group: East Bristol Kidical Mass, teaching BAME women basic cycling skills, and coordinating regular Playing Out sessions on her street. She is interested in social justice, health, sustainability, and how these intersect. Her work focuses at the grass roots level to empower people to increase their physical activity, and take action about their homes, streets or neighbourhoods. She speaks regularly about women and children and cycling, environmental justice, democracy and data, and co-design with communities. 

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